Former Wesleyan Student Who Distributed Synthetic Drugs That Caused Overdoses Sentenced to Prison
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ERIC LONERGAN, 23, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing controlled substances that caused several Wesleyan University students to overdose in 2015.
According to court documents and statements made in court, LONERGAN and Zachary Kramer were students at Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut. Beginning in approximately November 2013, LONERGAN began selling a substance he referred to as both “Molly” and MDMA to students on or in the vicinity of the Wesleyan campus. LONERGAN regularly sold Molly from his dorm room, charging approximately $20 per .1 gram, or $200 per gram. LONERGAN also counseled students on how to ingest Molly and other psychedelic drugs. At one point in 2014, after the administration at Wesleyan sent out a campus-wide communication warning of the dangers of ingesting controlled substances like Molly, LONERGAN responded by distributing a pamphlet instructing students on the use of psychedelic drugs.
In approximately September 2014, Kramer began purchasing what he believed to be Molly from LONERGAN and distributed it to students at Wesleyan. At times, LONERGAN used a chemical test on the substance he sold Kramer to prove to him that he was selling Kramer high-quality MDMA.
In September 2014, LONERGAN was the source of Molly for several students who were planning a “rolling” party at Wesleyan, which is a party where guests ingest Molly. He provided several grams of a substance he represented to be MDMA, in bulk, and another student then distributed it to students in .1 gram capsules. At this party, which occurred on September 13, 2014, several students became ill, some seriously, after ingesting the substance provided by LONERGAN. Two of these students were transported to the hospital. After these overdoses, LONERGAN sent electronic communications to several students assuring them that the substance he provided to them was indeed MDMA. One of the students who became ill at the party saved one of the capsules she had purchased and turned it over to the Middletown Police in February 2015. A lab test on the contents of that capsule revealed that it did not contain MDMA, but contained two other controlled substances: AB Fubinaca, a Schedule I controlled substance, and 6-MAPB, an analogue of MDMA.
In approximately December 2014, Kramer became the primary supplier of MDMA at Wesleyan. Kramer typically sold the MDMA in .1 gram quantities for $20 each or he sold it in 5-gram and 10-gram quantities for a discount, charging $100 or more, depending on the customer and the quantity. During this time period, LONERGAN still supplied Kramer with bulk quantities of MDMA. In approximately January 2015, Kramer purchased approximately 45 grams of MDMA from LONERGAN. Kramer broke that quantity into 5 and 10-gram bags and distributed those bags to other students who planned to break down the MDMA into .1 gram capsules, sell those capsules to other Wesleyan students, and pay Kramer for the quantity of the drug he had provided to them.
On February 21, 2015, 11 individuals, including 10 Wesleyan students, overdosed on a substance they believed was MDMA, and many were transported to the hospital. Two of the students were in critical condition, and one of the students had to be revived after his heart stopped. All of these students obtained the purported MDMA through individual distributers who were supplied directly by Kramer.
Although Kramer and some of his distributers destroyed the substance identified as Molly that they had in their possession, one of the distributers did not, and that substance was seized by law enforcement officers and sent to the toxicology laboratory for testing. Laboratory analysis confirmed that the powdered substance contained AB Fubinaca.
LONERGAN and Kramer were arrested by federal authorities on May 22, 2015. On November 30, 2015, LONERGAN pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, MDMA (“Molly”).
Kramer pleaded guilty to the same charge on November 12, 2015. On May 5, 2016, he was sentenced to eight months of home confinement with outpatient drug treatment, four months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine.
This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Middletown Police Department, with the assistance of the State of Connecticut’s Forensic Science Laboratory.
U.S. Attorney Daly acknowledged the support and assistance of the Middlesex State’s Attorney’s Office, which has prosecuted several state cases stemming from these overdose events.
The federal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Eugene Calistro, who was cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this matter.